Brighton-based, yet Clapham-born The Maccabees have been gently gaining something of an obsessive audience over the last two years, with a succession of itchy cute singles, which more often or not have been accompanied by imaginative home-made videos. You want DIY? These boys have it in spades.
Led by the fantastically named Orlando Weeks, whose vulnerability and quaky tones match the subject matter perfectly - first fumbles of attraction? His vocal on ''First Love'' is the equivalent of awkwardly sidling up to the person of your dreams while you fiddle with your cardigan buttons. Orlando, along with chums Felix, Hugo, Rob and Rupert (has any band's Christian names ever sounded quite so indie?), have toured with Arctic Monkeys, Jamie T and Jack Penate and been mentioned on the infamous ''LDN Is A Victim'', it was only when they released their second single ''Latchmere'' (about their local swimming pool, no less) that record labels started doing all sorts to obtain their signatures, and really, after listening to this splendid debut, you can understand why.
Colour It In is something special indeed. While not as Earth-eating as the Arctic's first album, it certainly deserves to find itself in any self-respecting record collection and 'Best Of 2007' lists come end of the year. Containing one of the best singles of this year so far is a bonus too, as ''About Your Dress'' - the criminally unsold classic whose video re-imagined Fingerbobs style DIY action, albeit a slightly bluer version. Likewise current single ''Precious Time'', which for some reason is being kept out of the Top 40 by dark forces.
While it ticks lots of boxes - indie, DIY, cute, colossal Myspace following etc - Colour It In also has the strength to carry itself through into the future and beyond. While it's a piece of p*ss to shriek 2007, it takes a bit more effort to make something timeless - Colour It In has all the hallmarks of outliving any tiny-minded scene or stereotype. You could do a lot worse. --Ian Wade
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